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Daily Herald's 2017 Season Coverage
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updated: 9/15/2016 11:06 PM

Scouting Week 4 in the Fox Valley

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St. Charles East (3-0, 1-0) at St. Charles North (3-0, 1-0)

When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Last Year: St. Charles North 31, St. Charles East 10

Last Week: St. Charles North 38, Larkin 0; St. Charles East 30, Geneva 0

Outlook: The battle of St. Charles features a pair of unbeatens. The Saints have outscored their opponents 128-23, thanks to a steadily improving triple-option offense and an opportunistic defense. St. Charles East has caused 11 turnovers and only given the ball back once. "They are a very aggressive defense," North coach Rob Pomazak said. "They're fast and they get to the football. We look at what a team gives us. If what an opponent presents lets us stretch the field vertically, we'll do so and we're lucky to have the weapons we think can do that." North's weapon-in-chief is senior QB Zach Mettetal, a 77-percent passer who has completed 44 of 57 attempts for 738 yards and 9 touchdowns. Leading receiver Lucas Segobiano has 15 receptions for 342 yards and 4 touchdowns. Mettetal faces a Saints secondary with 6 interceptions to its credit. East junior Clayton Isbell (6-foot-3, 195 pounds) grabbed 2 picks last week against Geneva. "We teach our kids to stick with the plan," East coach Bryce Farquhar said. "Our defensive coaches have done a great job coming up with the game plan and getting our kids to play fast. Confidence is key for that. So is good personnel, which we think we have. Friday we'll get them on the field and let them play."

Next week: St. Charles North at Glenbard East (0-3); Batavia (3-0) at St. Charles East

Cary-Grove (2-1, 2-1) at Jacobs (2-1, 2-1)

When: Friday at 7:15 p.m.

Last Year: Cary-Grove 51, Jacobs 20

Last Week: Cary-Grove 62, Hampshire 12; Jacobs 35, Crystal Lake South 28

Outlook: Whether or not Cary-Grove all-state fullback Tyler Pennington plays is a decision that won't be made until game day, Trojans coach Brad Seaburg said Thursday. Pennington sprained an ankle early in a Week 2 win at McHenry but stayed in the game and rushed 14 times for 134 yards and 4 touchdowns. He tried to give it a go last week against Hampshire but was unable. Max Skol, also a key figure in the secondary, played fullback last week. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound junior gained 69 yards and scored 2 short touchdowns in 15 attempts. The Golden Eagles practiced this week with the expectation of facing Pennington, Cary-Grove's all-time leading rusher. "We're preparing for him to play," Jacobs coach Bill Mitz said. "(To beat Cary-Grove) you have to stop their fullback. Everybody in the state of Illinois knows that. It's just a matter of stopping him. (Skol) did a good job the other night. He hit the hole quick. We have to be ready either way right from the start." Last year, Cary-Grove overwhelmed Jacobs from the start. Already leading 7-0, the Trojans capitalized on an interception and a fumble recovery on the ensuing kickoff to take a 21-point lead through nine minutes. "Before we could get going it was 21-0." Mitz said. "We need to take care of ourselves and come out ready to play."

Next week: Huntley (2-1) at Cary-Grove; Jacobs at McHenry (2-1)

Aurora Central Catholic (3-0) at Riverside-Brookfield (3-0)

When: Friday at 7:15 p.m. at Kennelly Athletic Complex

Last Year: Riverside-Brookfield 41, Aurora Central Catholic 21

Last Week: Aurora Central Catholic 27, Glenbard South 13; Riverside-Brookfield 40, Ridgewood 7

Outlook: While hall-of-fame coach John Belskis is pleased his Chargers are 3-0, he pointed to areas where they must improve. Last week, ACC notched an impressive win against previously unbeaten Glenbard South despite making several second-half mistakes, like losing red zone fumbles on consecutive possessions and committing 80 yards in penalties. "Sometimes it's the adversity you face from the opposition and sometimes it's from within," Belskis said. "More than anything else we were able to overcome that and beat a good football team and continue to get better." ACC faces, arguably, the best team on its schedule in Riverside-Brookfield. The Bulldogs reached a Class 6A quarterfinal last season. This year, they've knocked off Class 8A Morton and defending Metro Suburban East champion Ridgewood. R-B has outscored its opponents 95-39. "We're similar in our offensive style," Belskis said. "They're a spread offense, a solid team with good receivers. Their line blocks well, they have two fast running backs and the quarterback can throw the ball. We're a lot alike, but they're probably deeper." ACC running back Ryan Cerza has rushed 57 times for 323 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Next week: Aurora Central Catholic at Guerin (0-3); Wheaton Academy (3-0) at Riverside-Brookfield

Geneva (1-2, 0-1) at Streamwood (1-2, 0-1)

When: Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Millennium Field

Last Year: Geneva 55, Streamwood 22

Last Week: St. Charles East 30, Geneva 0; Batavia 56, Streamwood 7

Outlook: St. Charles East coach Bryce Farquhar said last week's win over perennial Upstate Eight River power Geneva was a key step in his program's development. Similarly, Streamwood's season-long goal is to take the next step by competing with the UEC River's traditional powers like Batavia, Geneva and the St. Charles schools. "The kids have practiced well this week after coming off a tough game against Batavia and they're ready to go," second-year Sabres coach Don Guindon said. "They know if they want to take the next step in the conference, this is a game we have to get." Rebuilding Geneva finds itself in an unfamiliar position after 3 games. With unbeatens Batavia and St. Charles North still to come, the Vikings need this win if they hope to navigate a route to the postseason. "We're treating this like a playoff game," Geneva coach Rob Wicinski said. "If you don't win, you're basically out." Geneva tailback Lance Arni, a converted safety, is the area's leading rusher with 545 yards and 4 touchdowns in 82 attempts (6.6 avg.).

Next week: Larkin (1-2) at Geneva; Streamwood at Elgin (0-3)

Bartlett (2-1, 1-0) at South Elgin (1-2, 1-0)

When: Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Last Year: South Elgin 27, Bartlett 19

Last Week: South Elgin 31, Glenbard East 7; Bartlett 54, West Chicago 7

Outlook: South Elgin goes for its fourth straight win in this series between District U-46 rivals. The Hawks enter with the better record, but it will take their best effort to knock off the defending UEC Valley champs on their home turf. South Elgin's 2 losses were inflicted by St. Charles East and Lockport, both undefeated. Last week, Bartlett led 13-7 at West Chicago before pulling away with 31 second-half points, fueled by 3 turnovers caused the defense. The Bartlett offense showed improvement, gaining 163 rushing yards, 136 passing yards and scoring 7 touchdowns. "Getting things rolling offensively is important because it proves to the kids that they can do it," Bartlett coach Eric Ilich said. "The challenge now is to keep doing it against any opponent we see. We've got guys on both sides who can make a difference and we're rowing the boat each day." The Storm defense is coming off its best game of the season, when they held Glenbard East to 174 total yards. Defensive back Nico Woods snared an interception. "They were real patient with their game plan," South Elgin coach Pat Pistorio said of the Hawks against West Chicago. "After halftime they went back to old-time Bartlett football with some heavy power sets and started pounding the ball. We're expecting the same thing. It's always a difficult thing to handle how physical they can be. They've always had a very solid offensive line and on film we see that again."

Next week: South Elgin at West Aurora (3-0); Prairie Ridge (3-0) at Bartlett

Elgin (0-3, 0-0) at Batavia (3-0, 1-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Quick hit: The Maroons must guard against Batavia big-play receiving threat Colin Cheaney. Last week against Streamwood, the 6-foot-4, 180-pound senior made 6 catches for 153 yards, highlighted by an 88-yard touchdown reception. Elgin quarterback Titus Ahrens completed 8 of 15 passes for 84 yards and a touchdown in his first start.

West Chicago (0-3) at Larkin (1-2)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Quick hit: The Royals look to even their record in an Upstate Eight crossover. Larkin has not been a .500 team 4 games into a season since 2013. West Chicago has been outscored 105-41. "They're in a similar situation to what we are," Larkin coach Dragan Teonic said of the Wildcats. "We've had a good week of practice after playing pretty physical against St. Charles North. The kids are ready."

West Aurora (3-0, 1-0) at Glenbard East (0-3, 0-1)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Quick hit: A Glenbard East offense averaging 12.7 points per game faces a West Aurora defense that didn't allow a touchdown until the fourth quarter in Week 3. The Blackhawks are thriving, in part, due to a plus-7 turnover differential. The offense has only turned the ball over twice.

East Aurora (1-2) at Dundee-Crown (0-3)

When: 7:15 p.m. Friday

Quick hit: The Chargers seek their first win of the season in a nonconference homecoming matchup in Carpentersville. The Tomcats were tamed 55-6 last week by rival West Aurora. D-C senior running back Greg Williams was held to 20 yards on 8 carries by Huntley. He'll look for daylight against East Aurora, which allowed 339 rushing yards last week.

Crystal Lake South (0-3, 0-3) at Prairie Ridge (3-0, 3-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Quick hit: Crystal Lake rivals square off in a 2015 Class 6A playoff rematch. Prairie Ridge knocked the Gators out of postseason last year with a 56-12 first-round victory. CL South will try to limit PR junior quarterback Samson Evans better than a year ago, when he rushed for 4 touchdowns and passed for 2 more.

Huntley (2-1, 2-1) at Hampshire (2-1, 1-1)

When: 7:15 p.m. Friday

Quick hit: Look for both offenses to try to prod the opposing defense for any sign of weakness. If Hampshire quarterback Jake Vincent gets time to throw, he'll take shots at a revamped Huntley secondary. Meanwhile, a Huntley offense that rushes for 218 yards per game attacks a Hampshire defense allowing 258 yards on the ground.

Richmond-Burton (1-2, 0-1) at Burlington Central (0-3, 0-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Quick hit: It's Rockets against Rockets as Central begins Kishwaukee River Conference play against its chief rival from the former Big Northern East. R-B lost its KRC opener last week to unbeaten Johnsburg 53-0. Central has been outscored 105-20.

Guerin (0-3) at St. Edward (3-0)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Quick hit: St. Edward is a heavy favorite in this Metro Suburban Conference crossover on homecoming night in Elgin. The Crusaders have been outscored 108-6. St. Edward wide receivers Jimmy Harkins and Saveon Smith have 25 catches, 588 yards and 9 touchdowns between them.

Kaneland (2-1, 0-0) at Yorkville (1-2, 0-0)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Quick hit: The Knights try to bounce back from their first loss of the season in the Northern Illinois Big 12 East opener for both teams. Junior quarterback Jack Douglas has completed 44 of 80 passes for 600 yards and 6 touchdowns and has thrown one interception. Kaneland beat the Foxes last year in Maple Park 35-7.

Marmion (3-0) at Bishop McNamara (0-3)

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday

Quick hit: Marmion's defense has yielded 6 points. The Fightin' Irish have been outscored 103-21, but the defending Class 3A champs have played the top-ranked team in Class 3A (IC Catholic Prep), Class 8A Bolingbrook and a seasoned St. Laurence squad. "Playing against the defending state champs with their backs against the wall is not a great environment to be going into," Marmion coach Dan Thorpe said.

DeLaSalle (3-0) at Aurora Christian (1-2)

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Quick hit: There's no letup in the schedule as the Eagles play another Chicago Catholic League crossover, this time against the streaking Meteors. DeLaSalle has outscored three winless teams 108-28 (Niles North, T.F. North, Robeson).

Luther North (2-1, 2-1) at Westminster Christian (2-1, 2-1)

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Quick hit: The Westminster Christian offense averages 23.3 points and 321 yards, led by senior Scott Graziano. A four-year varsity starter, he leads the area with 9 touchdowns. The wide receiver has 10 receptions for 295 yards and 6 scores.

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